January 31, 2009

Armchair Travel Stories

I thought it would be fun to start a weekly post for the armchair traveller. Sometimes you can get the feel of far off places from stories told by others, and from well written books. My plan is to post excerpts from books that I am reading as well as travel stories told to me by friends and family (I have lots of friends who are weekly road warriors). Enjoy! And email me here to submit your own.

The ol' Trojan Horse Routine
Today's installment is from Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey, The River of Doubt by Candice Millard.

The value of disguise and deception is not limited to defense against predators, and can become a centerpiece of offensive strategies like the remarkable Trojan Horse ploy used by the South American crab spider to capture the carpenter ants on which it feeds. After killing an ant, the crab spider, which is only a fifth of an inch long, carefully consumes the contents of the ant's body without harming the outer skeleton. It then carries the empty carcass over its own body so that, visually and chemically, the spider "looks" like its prey-allowing it to approach new victims undetected.

A spider in my own backyard

...what do you think? This passage really struck a chord in me, and the visual popped out. It really conveyed the level of sophistication in the insect world and at such a microscopic level. This is what is happening below our feet when we travel.


  1. Roosevelt was very wise, I was thinking that while its cleverly done in the insect world as a matter of survival,humans can also do this in their own way as a means of climbing the career ladder. Nice photo and good quote to think about with my morning coffee.

  2. Cate I totally agree! And I may have worked with my share of these masters of disguise. Enjoy your morning brew....S


Related Posts with Thumbnails